The Lion of Princeton: B. B. Warfield as Apologist and Theologian

The Lion of Princeton: B. B. Warfield as Apologist and TheologianLexham Press, the publishing arm of Faithlife (formerly Logos Research Systems, Inc., d.b.a. Logos Bible Software), just released Kim Riddlebarger’s The Lion of Princeton: B. B. Warfield as Apologist and Theologian for Logos Bible Software. It normally sells for $14.95, but you can use coupon code BBWARFIELD to get it for only $7.95.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the work:

In The Lion of Princeton, Kim Riddlebarger investigates Warfield’s theological, apologetical, and polemical writings, bringing clarity to the confusion that surrounds this key figure of the Princeton tradition.

Riddlebarger provides a biographical overview of Warfield’s life and traces the growing appreciation for Warfield’s thought by contemporary Reformed thinkers. Furthermore, he evaluates the fundamental structures in Warfield’s overall theology and examines Warfield’s work in the field of systematic theology.

Warfield’s theological heirs revere his memory, while his critics continue to find his work misguided and his legacy troubling. “The Lion of Princeton,” as he was known, was certainly up for the challenge. We must therefore take a fresh look at the work of this great scholar, who was in many ways the most significant American apologist, polemicist, and theologian of his age.

It covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. Chapter 1: The Heir to the Princeton Tradition
  3. Chapter 2: The Wisdom of the Vulgar—Scottish Common Sense Realism and Princeton Theological Seminary
  4. Chapter 3: New Testament Studies
  5. Chapter 4: Apologetics
  6. Chapter 5: Systematic Theology
  7. Chapter 6: Didactics and Polemics
  8. Chapter 7: Contemporary Critics
  9. Bibliography

Here are a couple of endorsements:

It has been a pleasure for me to learn more about Warfield as a colleague of Kim Riddlebarger. To my mind, Kim is a lot like Warfield: lucid and learned, measured and careful with his judgments, yet bold just where it’s needed. This book exposes us to Warfield on his own terms, and usually in his own words.

—Michael Horton, professor of systematic theology, Westminster Seminary, CA

Kim Riddlebarger’s accounting of his philosophical influences raises again the controversial question of the role of Scottish Common Sense Realism in the Princeton tradition. All who owe a debt to Warfield’s vast erudition and evident devotion to Christ and the Scriptures will find much to enjoy in this portrait of The Lion of Princeton.

—Fred G. Zaspel, Author of The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary

Get it now.


The Truth about Annie Pearce Kinkead’s Invalidity

Warfield expert Fred Zaspel sets the record straight on Annie Pearce Kinkead’s well-known illness. He argues that her condition was not as bad as is often recounted, at least not intially.

The long and short of all this is that Annie was somehow affected by a thunderstorm in Germany in 1876 or 77, and that this had a debilitating effect on her until in the mid 1890s she became increasingly “invalid” and homebound. Tragic as this is (and I certainly don’t mean to minimize it), it has been overstated in many more recent accounts. Annie was not paralyzed, we don’t know that she was struck by lightning, and she was not absolutely invalid until perhaps in her very final years. But the thunderstorm event was traumatic, and evidently it did have gradually debilitating effects. And Warfield was obviously concerned to be close and provide well for her. Please note that my intention here is not to relegate the entire story to mythology, only to check the over-statements.

Read the whole article.


Free Copy of B. B. Warfield’s The Canon of the New Testament

The Canon of the New Testament: How and When FormedLogos Bible Software is giving away a free copy of B. B. Warfield’s short essay The Canon of the New Testament: How and When Formed. All you have to do is like them on Facebook.

Even if you’re not currently a Logos user, you can download their free PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad apps or access the book online at

Here’s an excerpt:

The early Christians did not, then, first form a rival “canon” of “new books” which came only gradually to be accounted as of equal divinity and authority with the “old books”; they received new book after new book from the apostolical circle, as equally “Scripture” with the old books, and added them one by one to the collection of old books as additional Scriptures, until at length the new books thus added were numerous enough to be looked upon as another section of the Scriptures.

Check it out.


Kim Riddlebarger Reviews The Theology of B. B. Warfield

The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic SummaryKim Riddlebarger, senior pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, California and co-host of the popular White Horse Inn, reviewed Fred Zaspel’s The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary. Riddlebarger wrote his dissertation on Warfield1, so he is in a good position to offer a helpful review of Zaspel’s work. It’s worth a careful read.

Here’s his conclusion:

In conclusion, let me say that Fred Zaspel has done a great service to Christ’s church by giving us a most important and most useful volume, one which should be found on the bookshelf and in the iPad (it is also available as a eBook) of anyone who is interested in Reformed theology, the history of Old Princeton, and the work of B. B. Warfield.

Thank you Dr. Zaspel, for writing the book I wish I could have written!  This volume is highly recommended.

Read the whole review.

  1. “The Lion of Princeton:  Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield on Apologetics, Theological Method, and Polemics,” PhD diss., Fuller Theological Seminary, 1997. It was revised and published on his blog as The Lion of Princeton: Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield; Apologist, Polemicist, and Theologian, n.p., 1997. vii + 374 pp. [PDF]. []

Wes Bredenhof Reviews The Theology of B. B. Warfield

The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic SummaryWes Bredenhof, Pastor of the Providence Canadian Reformed Church in Hamilton, ON, has a nice review of Fred Zaspel’s The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary. In addition to summarizing the book helpfully, he discusses Warfield’s views on apologetics, Scripture, evolution, and perfectionism. It’s worth a read.

Here’s his conclusion:

The Theology of B. B. Warfield is a comprehensive guide to the thought of “the Lion of Princeton.”  There’s no question it will be a standard reference for decades to come.  Anyone interested in the development of Reformed theology on our continent needs to have it and read it.

Read the whole review.


The Gospel for Christians

Tullian Tchividjian shared this classic quote from Warfield on why Christians can never move beyond the gospel:

There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be trust as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest.

This comes from Perfectionism, Part One, vol. 7 of The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield (New York: Oxford University Press, 1932; repr., Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), 113.

See more Warfield quotes.


5 Questions for Fred Zaspel on The Theology of B. B. Warfield

The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic SummaryJustin Taylor interviewed Fred Zaspel about his new book, The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary.

Here’s what he asked him:

  1. How would you rank Warfield among the theological giants of church history?
  2. I suspect that a number of readers who know of Warfield will know almost nothing about Warfield the person. Can you get us a little insight into Warfield the man?
  3. If you could sum up the essence, the heartbeat, of Warfield’s theology, how would you define it?
  4. Was there anything that surprised you in working through all of Warfield’s materials?
  5. For those who want to read Warfield, what are some works to begin with?

Read the interview.


Interview with Fred Zaspel on The Theology of B. B. Warfield

The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic SummaryAllen Mickle interviewed Fred Zaspel about his latest book, The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Study.

Here are the questions he asked him:

  1. What made you first decide to pursue Warfield as someone to study?
  2. What do you see as the main contributions that Warfield made to theology?
  3. Why do you think Warfield is as neglected as he is in modern theology?
  4. Can you briefly explain why so many assume Warfield taught an evolutionary position while your research seems to prove otherwise?
  5. What other areas of Warfield studies need to be pursued?
  6. What other resources on Warfield and his theology would you recommend?
  7. What are the main benefits for busy pastors to study Warfield?
  8. How has Warfield and his theology helped you in your ministry? What did you learn from him that affected how you serve as a pastor?
  9. As a pastor who pursued a Ph.D. (of which we know this book is the substance of) would you recommend the pursuit for other pastors? What advice would you give pastors pursuing academic Ph.D.’s?
  10. Do you have plans to write or teach more on Warfield and his thinking? Now that the book is done, what are your plans?

Read the interview.